Monthly Archives: October 2016

Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends

from-grand-theft-otto-series-homer-danny-luvisi-pinterest-com-1

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 30 Oct 2016 at 9:09 p.m.

Readers, your correspondent has decided that the present Delta/Aurora situation has many similarities to a drug deal gone wrong.

Grady Cameron and Matt Ballard have a drug problem, and the drug concerned is dividends. They are being stood over by their directorial pimps, Stuart McLauchlan, Trevor Kempton, Ian Parton, David Frow and ex ORFU beat-up specialist Steve Thompson (who are also heavy users of the dividends concerned), to produce more, more, more, every year. Despite the intimidation from the pimps, and threats of financial violence (if you don’t meet the most important KPI being $9.5M of dividends, no salary increase for you !), they bought themselves some breathing space, for a year or two, but down at the street corner (where the poles are !), Messrs Cameron and Ballard stopped looking after the infrastructure that laid the golden eggs of revenue a long time ago and stiff-armed them instead. The result ? – the “network” concerned voted with their cross-arms and simply “fell away” ….but who are the pimps working for ? Who has the raging dividend habit ? Who is the junkie that like all junkies, will engage in lies, fraud, misrepresentation as grist to its mill to feed its dividend habit ? It is of course the atrophied and hollowed out financial wreck that is the Forsyth Barr Stadium, that has a 40-year $7.2M dividend drug habit that it needs and feeds on for survival. Who allows this habit to continue and feeds off it also ? Mayor Cull, the Pablo Escobar of Portobello Rd.

While on the subject of addictive behaviour, Vaughan Elder and Chris Morris will also soon have a drinking problem, because from Saturday every time they venture into a bar, they will be shouted a drink by all Dunedinites that live or walk by a rotten power pole (all of them). The Otago Daily Times (ODT) had a flood of coverage and it was excellent, including a precise summary of the recent dismal Delta and Aurora history. Book your flights to the national media awards now guys. Hopefully this is the virtuous circle in action – excellent coverage, more ODTs and advertising sold, more resources given to the story, more revelations, more ODTs sold. Your correspondent has been proven to be very wrong in his earlier #EpicPowerFail post. Far from being missing in action, after a late start they are all over the issue, and instead of making us sick they are making us proud. Go ODT !!

Today your correspondent was alarmed at the offhand comment made by Pablo Escobar’s DCHL sideman, Mr Crombie, when he said in response to being grilled by the ODT that “the financial effects of replacing thousands of poles could be managed by changes to the timing of Aurora’s planned capital programme”.

There are two very important questions that arise from this – 1) How much will the replacement of the poles cost, and 2) what items of Aurora’s capital programme can be deferred.

odt-30-10-16Dealing with 2) first, Mr Crombie must have been mainlining on dividends and as high as a kite when he said this. Either that or there was a forlorn attempt at some more quarter truths and a desperate hope that the long term Aurora Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 (AMP) might disappear from the Internet. Your correspondent, fortified with a LOT of Bells did some heavy lifting through the 185-page document and can report the following pearls from Aurora’s own AMP that show that Mr Crombie, like so many addicts, is delusional :

Firstly, in the space of one year from 2015 to 2016, the state of the network (without the recent revelations) was so knackered that even with the best attempts of Matt Ballard, the Delta ‘General Manager for Risk and Capability’, to minimise capex by various sleights of hand, including the famous algorithms outlined in #EpicPowerFail 3, the amount of capital spending required ballooned – in the space of a year – from $373M to $443M, an increase of $70M. (AMP, 7.1 Financial Forecasts). Incredibly, Mr Cameron and the Board indulged in misrepresentation by reporting to DCHL that the total 10-year capital spending increase was only $417M, not $443M, by the simple and dishonest expedient of comparing
two different 10-year periods. This piece of elementary financial alchemy clearly escaped Mr Crombie and the other DCHL directorial head nodders also.

Councillors, please remember that Mr Crombie is going to lecture you in a month or two that you Must Lend $13.2M as a second mortgage to a shell company, Infinity Yaldhurst, with no visible means of support, because There Is No Alternative. It is clear from the above he either cannot read an elementary spreadsheet, or considers an error of around $26M of ratepayer funds trifling and not worthy of comment or correction. Coincidentally, this is the amount of the Yaldhurst debt. Not coincidentally, Mr Crombie doesn’t think $13M of ratepayer funds written off at Yaldhurst is significant or comment-worthy either. Where do we find these people ? You have been warned, Councillors.

To justify this sudden $70M increase in spending, the asset management plan helpfully provided some explanations of the scope of the work, and why it was urgent, which is going to haunt Mr Crombie, hopefully all the way to resignation. On Page 160, Aurora explained that “half of the increase is associated with deferred zone substation expenditure for which there is no further opportunity for deferral”.

In the next five years (2020-2022), there is $29M allocated for rebuilding worn out substations in Dunedin (Andersons Bay, Neville St, Smith St, Willowbank) that cannot be deferred. The reason that the substations are not being rebuilt before 2020 is because the major 11kV / 3kV lines that serve the substations are in even worse shape than the very aged substations built in the 1950s and early 1960s. The cables are already failing and have to be replaced even before the substations. Page 156 of the AMP helpfully describes the problem, “These cables are very old … These cables are now at the end of their life as the bronze tapes [that act to retain the gas insulation] are corroded and failing.” Regarding the possibility of failure, the AMP is candid “….have had some gas leaks … Gas leaks are difficult to locate and expense to repair … requires the cable to be out of service for several days for repairs to be made”. In relation to another type of cable, PILC cable, the ever helpful AMP notes, “We have had a number of failures of the Kaikorai Valley cables” [due to the oil impregnated cables leaking, then drying out and failing].

If readers are in any doubt as to how much of a knife edge their power network is being run on, Page 62 (Asset Risks 4.5.3) will spill the Bells all over the sofa : “Perhaps the most significant risk of a catastrophic asset failure relates to our remaining 33kV gas filled cables.”

To conclude, readers, Mr Crombie is simply creating yet more mad hatter conditions at Delta/Aurora with the desperate and inaccurate statement, that tens of millions of unplanned expenditure (the actual cost will be the subject of the next post, out of time and tea tonight !) could be accommodated by simple funding re-arrangement. (Deck chairs on the Titanic, anyone ?). There are more distortions at Delta/Aurora than in a fairground hall of mirrors.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: pinterest.com – Danny LuVisi | Grand Theft Otto series, Homer

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Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force

graham-crombie-accountant-teara-govt-nz-source-odt-detail

Graham Crombie: Review starts Monday, preliminary findings not public by then as Mayor Dave Cull hoped….

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Crombie: heads could roll
By Vaughan Elder
Jobs could be on the line at Delta and Aurora after claims lives are at risk because of the two companies’ failure to replace dangerous power poles.
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) chairman Graham Crombie yesterday said there could be “consequences” for the board and management of the two council-owned companies if an independent review found their response to the power pole situation in Dunedin and Central Otago had been lacking. Mr Crombie was working through the final stages of appointing an independent party to review the claims yesterday, but was not ready to announce who that party would be because nothing had been signed.
Read more

OK. So Mr Crombie’s comments in the ODT today (joy oh joy for readers!) do help to force chief executive Grady Cameron and the Aurora/Delta Directors into an unholy corner for their multiple sins.

Understandably, they have turned media shy, no doubt while they consult their lawyers – Every Man for Himself now applies. Will they shop their fellow henchmen.

Watch and wait.

However, stupidly, Mr Crombie admits he was not shocked about the extent of the problem “because everybody knew that”….

WOW, Graham Crombie, chair of DCHL, knew there was a problem.

How soon did he know ?
But hey. Aurora’s asset management plan (AMP) is not a FIX. Mr Crombie is a little confused.

Best he trots out the reports to DCHL from Aurora/Delta which describe – ie quantify and qualify – the extent of the problem, received on his watch (!).
How long have DCHL/Mr Crombie known about VERY SIGNIFICANT non compliance with statutory Health and Safety requirements, and SCALE of risk and endangerment to company staff and the public.

How can any of this be A SURPRISE.
To a professional chairman-director of a council holding company.

Well, in surprising fashion, Mr Crombie states his advice ‘from Aurora and Delta had been the network was safe and he did not believe this was contradicted by Aurora’s asset management plan acknowledging thousands of compromised poles needed replacing’.

Further, ‘He thought the financial effects of replacing thousands of poles could be managed by changes to the timing of Aurora’s planned capital programme.’ Oh dear.

An EXTRAORDINARY statement, Mr Crombie.
As chairman of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL), you are responsible to Dunedin City Council (the Shareholder) for KNOWING AND ENSURING that all Council-controlled organisations (CCOs) are compliant —not, that they are LIABILITIES for every Ratepayer and Resident in the district, who it appears are repeatedly picking up the tab for true lack of governance and oversight by the vainglorious Dunedin Mayor and Councillors.

‘Gusty’ Mr Crombie, proverbially thus far, came down in the last rain shower. But he may yet be of public assistance to have the company chief executive and bunch of defunct directors SACKED.

****

[Black White] on the nearly 3000 dangerous poles now scattered across the network, John Walsh says: “That’s not evidence. That’s hearsay.”

Delta worker Graeme Jeffrey, in an email to Mayor Dave Cull and councillors, said the companies had “closed their eyes in the pursuit of maximising profit”.

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Dunedin Insight: Warned, in black and white
History of headaches for Delta
By Chris Morris
The warning was there in black and white. It came in an Otago Daily Times article, published in 1998, blowing the whistle on maintenance cuts across Dunedin and Central Otago’s electricity network. In it, former union delegate Ian Berry cautioned against the “never ending pursuit” of profit by Aurora’s predecessor, Dunedin Electricity Ltd. Unless the practice changed, the consequences for the network would be dire, he warned. […] But, far from rejecting the allegations, then-DEL chief executive John Walsh — later the man in charge of Delta — defended the cuts. […] Fast forward 19 years to the present, and former Delta worker Richard Healey has resigned to blow the whistle again — this time on the dangerous state of 2910 power poles across the network.
Read more

Key figures in Delta and Aurora’s history declined to comment this week, including former chairman Ray Polson, current chief executive Grady Cameron, and long-serving board member Stuart McLauchlan. The ODT asked repeatedly for an interview with Mr Cameron, but he pulled out on Thursday night, saying he had “nothing to add” beyond emailed responses.

rotten-power-pole-falls-and-cuts-power-dunedin-19-2-13-photo-by-tyler-christmas-via-odtRotten power pole falls and cuts power, Dunedin ODT
Photo: Tyler Christmas 19 Feb 2013

****

“The story really is how a culture can shift from ‘we are doing this to provide a safe service to the community’ to ‘Jesus, if I just keep my head down’.” –Richard Healey

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Informant, Delta poles apart
By Vaughan Elder
Giving up a 35-year career and a healthy pay cheque to blow the whistle was not easy for Dunedin man Richard Healey. But one tragic day loomed large in his decision. In lifting the lid on the serious danger from Aurora Energy’s “neglected and decaying” network, Mr Healey keeps going back to colleague Roger Steel’s death on December 9, 2010. Mr Steel was working on his own at  Millers Flat on a power pole when it toppled over. The fall of more than 20m left him with injuries a coroner said were “immediately and inevitably lethal”. […] Mr Steel’s death was followed in 2014 by an incident in which Vincent Moore suffered left leg fractures and a fractured lumbar vertebra falling from a pole while completing a service connection in Cardrona. […] Once again Delta pleaded guilty and was fined for health and safety breaches and once again Mr Healey said not enough changed at the company.
Read more

****

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Hoping husband did not die in vain
By Lynda van Kempen
Karyn Steel fears safety standards have not improved in almost six years since an untagged, dangerous power pole caused the death of her husband. Delta was fined $75,000 for failing to take all steps to ensure the safety of its employees when lineman Roger Steel (63) died after the concrete power pole he was working on near Millers Flat toppled over, in early December, 2010.
….Following the inquest finding, Delta chief executive Grady Cameron said the company had upgraded and enhanced its work practices “to make sure we never have another workmate in this position again”.
….[Mrs Steel’s] husband had spent 43 years as a maintenance worker on electricity lines and loved his job but talked to her about his concerns over a “lowering of safety standards” at his workplace. The comments by whistleblower Richard Healey echoed those concerns and she admired his bravery in speaking out.
Read more

****

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Regions: Central Otago
Wait to hear pole advice
By Tracey Roxburgh
Delta has responded to an urgent request from the Queenstown Lakes District Council seeking assurance that residents and visitors in the tourist town will be safe in the wake of allegations the company had neglected to replace dangerous poles across the district. What Delta has advised the council, however, will not be made public until next week, after the council has had a chance to consider it. Maps showing dangerous poles in Central Otago and Queenstown-Lakes towns were leaked to the Otago Daily Times this week.
Read more

****

What should you do if there is a dangerous power pole near you?
Call Aurora Energy and ask for details about the condition of the pole/s and ask about its replacement plans.
Look out for movement over time, swaying in the wind, cracking, and the tension on the lines to your house increasing to the point where the barge board is damaged.
Contact Aurora immediately if you notice any of the above happening.
Consider not parking your car next to a damaged pole. 

█ Aurora Energy Ltd http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/
█ Delta Utility Services Ltd http://www.thinkdelta.co.nz/

Alternatively, contact Delta on 0800 433 582

ODT: Detailed map of dangerous poles at Dunedin
ODT: Dangerous power poles – Mosgiel
ODT: Dangerous power poles – Corstorphine and part of South Dunedin
ODT: Dangerous power poles – North Dunedin and Leith Valley
ODT: Detailed map of dangerous poles – Central Otago and Queenstown

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: teara.govt.nz [source: ODT] – graham crombie, accountant | irational.org – blue white umbrella skeleton, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch

Link received.
Fri, 28 Oct 2016 at 1:14 p.m.

censored-free-speech-sprottmoney-com

### zerohedge.com Oct 27, 2016 4:01 PM
Source: sprottmoney.com (blog)
The Establishment Has Rigged the System: It’s Time to Shake Things Up
By Nathan McDonald 
Is the entire system rigged? Can we trust any of it? Yes and no. Large parts of the current “modern” day system we find ourselves living in is undoubtedly rigged against the little man. This is by design – make no doubt about it – but you should not let it rule your life. Because as history has proven time and time again, the true power lies in the people – we just don’t typically know it. The establishment is once again learning this harsh lesson. People are “waking” up at a pace that I have NEVER before seen in my life. […] The MSM has proven itself to be a powerful weapon, but its control is slipping. The alternative media are rising and rising fast. We are becoming the main source of most people’s information, proving once again my point that the power rests in the masses, not the elites.
Read more

****

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****

Tonight at Channel 39 News, ODT deputy editor Craig Page tells us what’s in Saturday’s newspaper:

● More on the continuing investigation into the “Delta/Aurora saga”…. ‘neglect of repairs’ means “3000 dangerous poles in Dunedin” need to be replaced within 12 months.

[See Richard Healey’s latest comments on pole numbers at What if? Dunedin]

● DCHL chairman Graham Crombie offers “an explanation of sorts” and says there could be “consequences for Delta staff” down the track.

● Whistleblower Richard Healey “who broke the story at ODT”.

[TV3 first broke the news with Richard Healey at The Story (Newshub)]

● Chris Morris looks back at the history of Delta.

Mr Page says to expect “a lot more headlines out of it in the weeks to come”.

Related Posts and Comments:
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *epic fraud* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: sprottmoney.com – censored | cathtatecards.com – social mendia without electricity by Leunig

12 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta

——– Original message ——–
From: Bev Butler
Date: 27/10/2016 8:44 am (GMT+12:00)
To: Grady Cameron [Delta]
Cc: Sandy Graham [DCC], Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: URGENT LGOIMA request: DELTA stadium corporate box renewal

Thursday 27 October 2016

Dear Mr Cameron

The Forsyth Barr rugby stadium has now been open for over five years and as such the corporate boxes on a five year contract recently came up for renewal.
Given that Delta purchased a corporate box at $45,000 per annum, as outlined in your response below dated 1 July 2011, I request the following:
1. Has Delta renewed their corporate box contract for another five years?
2. If so, what is the new annual cost of Delta’s corporate box?
3. The name of those who made the decision to renew the corporate box contract.
4. A copy of all documents relating to the decision for Delta to renew their corporate box membership.

You have stated below:
“DELTA has a range of commercial sponsorship and advertising arrangements with organisations such as Otago Rugby Football Union, Alexandra Ice Skating Rink, ASB Otago Sports Awards and the arrangements are commercially sensitive between the parties.”

Given that you are claiming commercial sensitivity for declining to release the information re commercial sponsorship and advertising arrangements with the organisations mentioned above, I request the overall total amount Delta is paying in commercial sponsorships and advertising arrangements to the three organisations mentioned, namely the Otago Rugby Football Union, Alexandra Ice Skating Rink, ASB Otago Sports Awards.

Note that by releasing the total amount given to the three organisations, then the “commercial sensitivity” argument would not apply as none of the individual organisations would be able to be identified. A precedent has already been set with the Office of the Ombudsman in a previous complaint I made relating to stadium sponsorships.
The Ombudsman recommended release of the sponsorship information in totality so as not to interfere with the “commercial” arrangements.

I, therefore, expect full co-operation with this urgent request.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

———————————————

From: Grady Cameron [Delta]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 16:53:34 +1200
Subject: LGOIMA request: DELTA budgets and stadium spending

Dear Bev

Thank you for your enquiry. I refer your questions below and provide the following responses.

DELTA’s Chief Financial Officer is unchanged and is Mr Stephen Wilson.  The role of Chief Financial Officer is being advertised in advance of his planned retirement. The individual who approved the lounge membership application is no longer with DELTA and was not the Chief Financial Officer. As a point of clarification, the term “overzealous” that appeared in the Otago Daily Times report of 9 February was attributed to Mr David Davies and was not made by me.

1. DELTA has made approximately $50,000 of donations to outside organisations over the past three years linked to our Health & Safety related Charity Challenge. Organisations which benefited from these donations included, but were not limited, to:

Alexandra Scouts Group
Cancer Society
Otago SPCA
Otago Community Hospice
Make-A-Wish Foundation of NZ
St John Ambulance Service
Diabetes NZ Otago

In the past three years, DELTA employees have also participated in an annual Volunteers Day:

2011 – Salmon Hatchery spruce-up
2010 – Alexandra Kindergarten tidy-up
2009 – PACT House (Mosgiel) working bee

2. DELTA has a range of commercial sponsorship and advertising arrangements with organisations such as Otago Rugby Football Union, Alexandra Ice Skating Rink, ASB Otago Sports Awards and the arrangements are commercially sensitive between the parties.

3. a) No, DELTA has not spent or allocated any money, except for a corporate box at $45,000 per annum.
b) DELTA has successfully won and completed contracts for the Stadium project to the value of $4,039,267. These were secured under a [competitive] tender process operated by Hawkins Construction and Arrow International Limited. 
c) DELTA is not a party to the Guaranteed Maximum Price Contract for construction of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Accordingly, your question should be directed to Hawkins Construction or Arrow International Limited. DELTA does not hold any information in relation to the Guaranteed Maximum Price Contract.

4. DELTA’s budgets are contained in the Dunedin City Holdings Statements of Intents which were presented to the Dunedin City Council on 7 February 2011 and are publically available on the Dunedin City Council website at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/minutes_agenda/0006/166353/ma_fsd_r_dchl_2011_02_07.pdf . I have attached a copy for your information.

5. DELTA’s Annual Reports for the years ended 30 June 2010, 2009 and 2008 are publically (sic) available on the Dunedin City Council website at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/dunedin-city-holdings/delta-utility-services-ltd . I have attached copies of the Annual Reports as requested.

Delta Utility Services Ltd – Dunedin City Council

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz

Delta Utility Services Limited is a multi-utility service contractor providing a range of electrical and other services to local authority and private sector clients.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

7 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Finance, Geography, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Sport, Stadiums, Travesty

Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms

design-open-badges-university-college-london-slidesharecdn-com-1aGrady’s old poster (office)

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 at 11:10 p.m.

Readers, do you know what an algorithm is ? OK, make a brew and consider this while letting the Bells blend with the white stuff : WiseGeek advises that an algorithm is “a set of detailed instructions which results in a predictable end-state” (that’s geek for : “result”), however it also cautions that algorithms are only as good as the instructions given.

WiseGeek goes on to say that examples of the algorithmic, are instructions for assembling a model airplane, or, for the manually challenged among you, a computer programme ie simply, instructions in a set order, designed to perform a specific task….

Now, diving deeper, WiseGeek advises there are a number of different types of algorithm, with such esoteric names, as, “brute force algorithms”, “randomised algorithms”, and even backtracking algorithms (buy one of those quickly Grady !!), and my personal favourite, the “divide and conquer algorithm” (Yes Grady, Mr Crombie has bought one of those and was practising with it in today’s ODT….). Speaking of the ODT, if Vaughan Elder keeps up his sterling work, awards are beckoning for him, and deservedly so.

But the algorithm that Delta prefers and uses is the Greedy Algorithm, which is defined as an algorithm that “attempts to find not only a solution, but to find the ideal solution to any given problem”.

Now readers, stop stamping your feet, spilling the Bells and making the super wines all soggy (no madeira cake for you, ratepayers !). I understand that you don’t want to know about arcane formulas to balance electrical loads and the like, and how could algorithms possibly have anything to do with replacing rotten power poles ?

Within the “asset strategy” department of Delta – yes there is such a thing, and yes, they are six-figure inhabitants of the Delta payroll, there are some computer scientists, who have constructed a greedy algorithm to Grady’s specifications. Within the lines industry, this algorithm is the 8th wonder of the world. It can take a linesman’s power pole condition report, complete with photographs and evidence of rotten bases, and re-classify it from Condition 0 (immediate replacement) to Condition 4, 5, 6. This is a wonderful thing, because it enables Grady and his enablers to say that poles have been “rigorously tested by computer analysis”, and of course, computers are never wrong and are far more accurate than a few crusty old linesmen who only do actual visual inspection.

Your correspondent has been given information that recently, Chorus asked for permission to attach a Telecom line to an aged pole (is there any other sort in Dunedin?). The report from the field was that the pole was knackered. However, the computer had not been consulted, and the strategy department duly ran it through the algorithm, and it returned a classification of 0. Bad computer !! That was not “the ideal result !”. A bit of tough computer love ensued, and the pole was re-run through the algorithm again, and the pole re-emerged with a barely adequate rating of 2. There you go, said strategy, all fixed and ready to roll for Chorus ! “Not quite” said the people whose staff had to risk their lives getting up the pole, the pole is still had it ….regardless of what the algorithm says. Undeterred, the mad scientists of strategy ran the pole through the algorithm again and this time…. it yielded a rating of 4 ! Problem solved ! said the mad scientists, climb as high as you like – hook 10 Telecom lines on there !

The department responsible for the lines staff, then had had enough of the madness, and wrote an email that has become famous within Delta ….it said

“IF THIS POLE GETS RUN THROUGH THE COMPUTER ALGORITHIM AGAIN, THERE IS A VERY STRONG CHANCE THAT IT WILL SPRING TO LIFE AND GROW BRANCHES.”

This is the mad hatters world that Grady Cameron, Parton, Frow, Kempton, McLauchlan have created and presided over at Delta. A March hare would be envious.

If Delta had a belfry, bats would fly out of it.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta FunnyMoney
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *epic fraud* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: slidesharecdn.com – design open badges University College London | overlay: perdue.edu – utilitypolelodging, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Travesty, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta FunnyMoney

victims-tweaked-cagle-com-3

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 at 11:08 p.m.

Readers, we must again raise our teacups – yes, a bit of condensed milk would be nice, makes the shareholder revenge all the sweeter ! – to Vaughan Elder of the ODT, who rose to the What if? challenge, and lifted the lid (25.10.16) on some astounding revelations at Delta : Management “instructing” staff not to deal with urgent, “compromised” poles but instead, continue with programmed pole replacement. The following is the intellectually threadbare accounting intellect practised by Grady Cameron and the directors (and others) : We only have X funds allocated, and those funds have to replace Y poles and Z number of urgent compromised poles. No one knows the number of Z, but everyone knows Y because we have to publish it in our public records. Therefore we will continue with non-urgent Y, because if we reduce it awkward questions we can’t be bothered answering will be asked, and we will just defer – yet again – urgent work. She’ll be right. There’s not that many Z number poles falling down – we’ve just made a resolution that they are within our risk tolerances – no one’s been killed yet (Oh yes, Steelo, shame about that) – moving on – pass the madeira cake with the almond icing over here will you Trevor ?

Readers, it does appear that Nigel Saunders has confirmed that Delta management are telling staff to break the law, and refusing to put it into writing. Mr Saunders wrote in a memo “line supervisors are currently acting on a verbal instruction only which no-one seems to be willing to back up in writing, and if something goes wrong we all know what happens next”. What happens next in the event of an accident, is that Grady would solemnly pronounce that Procedures Have Not Been Followed, and Immediate Disciplinary Action Has Been Taken, and We Are VERY Sorry About the Failure By Line Staff To Follow Clear & Comprehensive Delta Regulations. (Code: Nothing to do with me, NOT MANAGEMENT’S FAULT….). That Mr Saunders had to put this in a memo and put his neck on the line shows what a toxic, dysfunctional place Delta has become.

If we were in any doubt that Delta and Aurora must be terminated, it came with Mr Saunders next revelation, that even when compromised poles are stabilised the solution actually involved waratahs and number 8 wire. Delta and Aurora must be the laughingstock of the lines industry.

The depth of the arrogance and cynicism displayed by Grady Cameron and directors Parton, Frow, Kempton and McLauchlan towards the shareholders is nowhere more evident than the 2016 accounts :

The directors gave Grady Cameron a massive pay rise for failing to meet 5 of the 8 Financial Objectives set by the Delta board last year; but Grady says in the report “we have increased shareholder equity with a prudent approach to risk and revenue growth”, and we get the euphemism meter off the scale as Grady attempts to explain why operating cash flows, the life blood of the business, are down from the forecast $9.974M to just $3.439M. Grady came up with this pearler, “Operating cash flows were $3.4M for FY16, below the forecasted $10M, due to temporary differences in the timing of receipts from customers.” Grady, would those “customers” be effectively just ONE customer, and would that customer have been Noble Investments, and is the temporary difference in timing, your sub-truthful way of saying that Delta will not receive all of its expected funds until, as the DCHL chairman admitted, until 2024 ? Shall we expect to see this disgraceful quarter truth featuring in your reports until 2024 ?

As well as the debacle over the cash flow, Grady and Delta failed spectacularly on the debt : The objective was debt at $21.728M, but debt is at….$29.165M, which is over $2M MORE than last year, ($26.5M), when Grady was singing the same cheerful song, all is well, we have our debt well in hand.

The truly depressing thing, is that if we look at what 3 financial objectives Delta did achieve, there is no cause for celebration there either :

Net Profit : achieved (just) $4.67m, vs objective of $4.61M. Now as any accountant knows, with turnover of $100M, it will not be hard to adjust the average $8.5M work in progress (WIP) to get whatever profit figure you want, within reason, so we should take no comfort that the $4.67M is a real figure, but that it might suffer an embarrassing reversal next year. (Remember readers, “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone”…. that refrain in the boardroom must be getting louder….)

Capital Expenditure : Delta achieved its “target” of not spending MORE than $6.421M, by only spending $4.101M. This is an odd measure to gauge the health of a capital intensive business – to gauge how LITTLE the company spends on essential assets needed to perform their work efficiently. It shows the company is very constrained and has almost no capital base of liquid funds or retained earnings to use for capex.

Finally, Dividends : Yes, The target $2.5M DCHL dividend was achieved, because once again, the debt levels went up $2.7M to accommodate this, from $26.5M last year to $29.2M. Directors, if you want to deny this, show us, don’t tell us, and by the way, where is the “Investment in Financial Instrument” of $2.19M recorded as an asset ? Back to the dividend, at $5,000 each, this would have given Dunedin 500 new power poles and a much safer electrical environment. Grady, for all your faff about your environmental performance (heard the news, fleet fuel consumption down from 9.68 to 9.62 l/100km!) – what about the ratepayers’ street environment who have to dodge hundreds of your disgraceful poles with fear and trepidation. The fear and trepidation will soon belong to you – because there will be some waste management of the management waste, to coin a phrase, and it will involve “recycling” you to an “out of region facility”, and “recycling” those dismal directors back to their day jobs.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *epic fraud* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: cagle.com – cold comfort by Nate Beeler, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Report from the University Landscape Trenches : Financial shoring collapsing, trouble brewing

Received from Rhodes
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 at 9:14 p.m.

Saturday’s ODT had an interesting article about delays on the troubled University of Otago landscaping project. This article is the canary in the University construction goldmine, as there are other even much larger disputes brewing on current University projects that certainly will become a goldmine for the contractors, to the detriment of the University’s financial health.

uoo-landscaping-20160508_135933Hoarding, University of Otago

Mr Mackay said the complications on the landscaping included “replacing old water, sewage and drainage pipes”. What he did not say is that this work was meant to have been done two summers ago, BEFORE the academic year, but due to the project management, it was not. However, this landscaping project is small beer, there are much bigger problems looming.

The University, in their biggest ever project, at the 11th hour, on the “advice” of a contractor, Fletcher Construction, who we understand did not even finally submit a bid, told the University they could save a few hundred thousand on the $100 million project by deleting the need for a cost control schedule…. that would have severely limited what the contractors could charge for changes and extra work. In a monumental display of incompetence, the University stopped production of the schedule – which was already underway and had to be part paid for anyway and put the drawings and specifications out to tender without a schedule. If the drawings were 100% complete and the University wasn’t to change its mind that would be OK, but the Pope is more likely to preach at Canterbury Cathedral than this happening. Of course, the drawings are woefully incomplete, and the arguments and changes have started. Watch out for Someone from the University Property Services division, in about a year, to be in full dissembling mode about the delays, and how, “even though it’s six months late, it’s still on budget”. If that is the case, the budget has massive doses of incompetency cover built into it !

An additional problem that’s about to come home to roost in the University and Otago Polytechnic’s coffers is insistence, by University Property Services, on the use of “Early Contractor Involvement” (ECI). (Someone at University Property Services has never met a new construction euphemism he did not use or a project delay that he could not justify). Both the University and Polytech on recent large projects have engaged in tender processes where there is no fixed sum, because the documents are far from complete, and the current fashion du jour is to have “early contractor involvement” where the builders are paid to be involved in the design phase, to provide “constructability” expertise. Basically the builders make a submission to say what nice people they are, and advise percentage site overhead and profit margins they would build the project for. The rest of the cost, about 85-90%, is just guesswork. (“Provisional Sums”). This process allows the “tender evaluation team” (mainly the Architect and the University) to choose who they want, without regard to price, because the weighting for “non-price attributes” is a lot more than 50% of the total weighting.

On both the University commerce building project, just started by Naylor Love, and the Polytechnic Hostel project (also won by Naylor Love), this was the process. Both projects are around $20 million all up. Significantly, the architect on both projects was Mason & Wales. There were a number of other consultants in the design teams. The politest way to put the next point is that there appeared to be “confusion” about the proposed early contractor involvement process from the team. It was thought, inexplicably, that this wonderful new system of selecting builders without worrying about price meant not only did they get to choose ones with very high margins who wouldn’t cause problems when the inevitable design problems arose, some consultants also thought that they could charge full fees and offload all of the detailing onto the builder…. which of course did not happen. Builders, in the South Island anyway, do not employ armies of CAD operators who can document bespoke large projects. That is what designers are for…. In both cases, the successful Naylor Love bid was hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than lower bids. Also in the case of both bids, the University and the Polytech paid a premium of around $500-600,000 to have the “ECI/ constructability” experience of Naylor Love…. only to find that the advice received was NOT what was expected…. the Polytech project has been now costed by Naylor Love and is $1.5-2.0 million over budget, and the “expert” constructability / ECI advice that the Polytech effectively paid $600,000 for is…. wait for it…. to make the building smaller. Hmmm, expensive and brief advice! Best not tell the Humanities students ! The other unsuccessful contractors may well feel aggrieved about how this process played out, as before they were even allowed to provide a proposal they had to prove their capability and experience to do the work, so in theory all tenderers were equally capable, and there was no logical reason for the favouritism to Naylor Love…. but were there other reasons ? There appears no meaningful financial oversight, the project teams seem a law unto themselves, and the suspicion is that both institutions’ funds are being spent in a very free and easy fashion.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
18.7.16 Misero-mercenary at U of O
1.7.16 No one wants to work for U of O
25.9.15 University calling Property Services
28.3.15 University of Otago landscaping
24.7.13 University: Leith flood protection scheme and landscaping
31.5.13 University of Otago development plans
27.5.13 Carisbrook and Leith flood protection
17.11.10 Leith Lindsay Flood Protection Scheme
17.5.10 Campus Master Plan
28.1.10 University of Otago Campus Master Plan

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Media, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Travesty, University of Otago